The Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court has quashed the three -year suspension of Mr Francis Xavier Sosu, a Legal Practitioner by the General Legal Counsel (GLC), the body that regulates the legal profession.
Mr Sosu was suspended by the GLC on June 1, 2017 after he was found guilty for overcharging a client and violating the legal profession’s code of conduct that prevents lawyers from advertising their services.
He was suspended for three years for each of the offence, which will run concurrently, commencing June 2, 2017 and ending June 1, 2020.
The GLC also ordered him to avail himself to a senior lawyer, who will mentor him for one year, indicating that the senior to mentor him shall lodge periodic reports on him to the General Legal Council’s Disciplinary Committee at the end of every month during the mentorship period.
Lawyer Sosu was convicted on his own plea of guilty on both counts.
However, not happy with the decision of the GLC, the suspended lawyer filed a certiorari application at the Human Rights Court for his suspension to be quashed.
The Court presided over by Mrs Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, in her ruling on Wednesday quashed the suspension on the basis that the GLC exceeded its jurisdiction because the offence and punishment for overcharging a client was not defined.
The Court also held that there was no complainant for the charge of advertising and touting levelled against the lawyer.
One of the reasons for Mr Sosu’s suspension, according to the GLC, was that, he charged a client, Francis Agyare, GH¢50,000 as legal fee for a compensation claim of GH¢200,000.
The GLC in its notice of suspension said the legal fees charged by him was “excessive and an overestimation of the services rendered him when he represented to him that he was offering pro-bono legal service.’’
In addition, the GLC said Mr Sosu had on two different occasions advertised his firm’s name, address and telephone numbers on Facebook with “the primary motive of personal advertisement and touting, which was in violation of Rule 2(4) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct).
The GLC said during the period of suspension, he shall not hold himself out as a Legal Practitioner or attend Chambers, or render, or purport to render any professional legal service to any person whomsoever, where so ever.